Papis wins Honda GP

Monday, October 15, 2001

MONTEREY, Calif. -- A perfect fuel strategy by Team Rahal gave Max Papis a victory Sunday in the Honda Grand Prix as Gil de Ferran's third-place finish solidified his lead in the CART championship chase.

Papis, earning his second victory of the season and third of his career, started 25th in the 26-car field and became the first winner on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn Laguna Seca Raceway road course to start farther back than sixth.

While the rest of the contenders made two pit stops, Papis visited pit lane five times as he worked his way toward the front.

The early leaders all pitted during a caution period on lap 50 of the race shortened by a two-hour time limit from its scheduled 83 laps to 76. Adrian Fernandez, Papis and Memo Gidley, out of sequence with the other competitors, stayed on the track and took the top three spots.

The Italian driver finally took the lead for the first time when Fernandez pitted on lap 61. Thanks to two more caution flags -- raising the race total to eight -- Papis was able to cruise to the win, driving his Ford-powered Lola to a 0.794-second, five car-length victory over Gidley's Lola-Toyota.

Gidley, who matched his career best finish earlier this season in Cleveland, also caught a break when he had a fuel hose failure as he stopped on lap five and left the pits with his car on fire. The air put out of the blaze and nobody on his Target/Chip Ganassi Racing pit crew was seriously injured.

Old Dominion 500

MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Rain that came in fits and spurts washed out the Old Dominion 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race.

Martinsville Speedway officials rescheduled it for today at 11 a.m.

Todd Bodine will start on the pole for the 500-lap event on the .526-mile track, the oldest and shortest in the Winston Cup series.

The race was to have been shown on NBC television, but will now be broadcast on TNT.

Sam's Town 250

MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Randy LaJoie won the Sam's Town 250 after a one-day rain delay, slipping under leaders Jay Sauter and Jeff Green as they went high toward the wall with 1 1/4 laps to go.

Busch points leader Kevin Harvick finished third and Sauter was fourth, followed by Jeff Purvis, Tim Fedewa and Jason Keller.

--From wire reports

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